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An Analysis of the Conclusion to Wuthering Heights

By Bmpegram Dec 03, 2013 433 Words
Wuthering Heights Conclusion
As we learned in class from the group presentation, the purpose of gothic literature is to evoke emotions of terror and horror, as well as break social norms. Typical image and imagery include specters, ghosts, and demons, along with dim lighting or eerie settings. Themes of gothic literature include uncertainty and the examination of the nature of power, law, society, family and sexuality that usually build to a great climax. Wuthering Heights is a great example of all of those aspects, but unlike most Gothic romances, I do not think that Wuthering Heights builds to an intense and violent climax before its ending. Instead, I think the tension in the novel unfolds as the inner conflict within Heathcliff slowly dissolves, as his love for Catherine lessens his longing for revenge on his dead oppressors’ children. Although the novel's happy ending is not possible until Heathcliff's death, his authority becomes less threatening in the days that precede his death. As time passes, Heathcliff becomes increasingly obsessed with his dead love Catherine, and finds constant reminders of her everywhere he turns. He begins conversing with her ghost, and, after his climactic night on the moors he is overcome with a sudden sense of cheer, and he has a happy premonition of his own impending death. This part of the novel makes me very suspicious about what occurred at the moors to cause Heathcliffs change of attitude. The text frequently compares Heathcliff to the Devil, but he does not believe in Hell. His forced education of religion as a child caused him to deny the existence of Heaven, and his lack of religious beliefs seemed to cause him not fear death. I think death for Heathcliff symbolizes one thing: the beginning of his reunion with Catherine. I think the thought of this reunion with Catherine even sparks excitement for Heathcliff, which gives him the happy premonition of death. I think the marriage between Cathy and Hareton, symbolizes the start of a new life and the end of depression and disparity in the novel. I also think the marriage symbolizes the power love has to overcome hardships and prevail. The marriage between Cathy and Hareton leading to a happy ending is also foreshadowing of the idea that had Catherine and Heathcliff been allowed to marry, the violence and revenge seen in the second half of the novel may not have occurred. I think that the reunion of Catherine and Heathcliff’s ghosts is a fitting piece to the happy ending of the novel, demonstrating again that true love prevails, for better or for worse.

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